Fight or Flight Response

Fight or Flight Response

The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived threat or danger, so it doesn't actually have to be a real threat to start the process. It is also known as the primitive brain response. The fight-or-flight response is triggered by the Limbic system, an area of the brain that is responsible for regulating many of the body's automatic functions. When the Amygdala senses danger, it sends a signal to the sympathetic nervous system, which activates a number of changes in the body. These changes can include:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Which are the symptoms of a panic attack.

The fight-or-flight response is a very natural and necessary response to danger. It helps us to survive by giving us the extra energy and strength we need to fight or flee. However, if the fight-or-flight response is activated too often or for too long, it can lead to health problems such as anxiety, depression, and heart disease. 

The problem with this amazing self preservation response, is when it reacts to inappropriate situations or to our all too imaginative thoughts. We haven't got to believe in something to trigger our self preservation system, we just have to think about something and it will set itself off.

The less we think negatively, the less our Limbic system will react.  So if you are prone to thinking the worse about all situations, the more likely you are to suffer with anxiety. When you feel you are being negative, stop and think about the best possible outcome, this will then allow the Amygdala to calm down and you will activate the parts of the brain that allow you to make rational decisions around those thoughts, helping you to stay calm and relaxed and maybe have something to look forward to.

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